Advice needed on MacBook Purchase

Kardashian

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Sep 4, 2005
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Hey Guys!

I'm starting my final year of A-Levels and need a laptop to take into school for the courses I'm doing.

I can't afford a MacBook Pro, so its the MacBook I'm after.

I'm getting it on the Edu discount, and we can claim VAT back. My limit is £700, with extra RAM from Crucial.

I use Photoshop a lot, so bare this in mind. My 2 choices are:

1. Base model (1.83Ghz), with BT Mighty Mouse and 1.25GB RAM. (A further 1GB in about 5 weeks)

2. High-end White model. (1GB RAM in about 5 weeks, then another 1GB the month after. I'm going to be using the standard RAM for the first few weeks, on this model)

The SuperDrive would be a nice touch, and the first one I'd have had. But I doubt I'd find little to any use for it.

Is the .17Ghz really worth the extra money?

Would Opt. 1 run CS2 ok, until CS3 comes out, with 1GB of RAM?

Thanks for any advice you can offer guys. :)
 

generik

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Aug 5, 2005
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Yes, I used to run CS2 on my Mini with a pokey 1.66Ghz processor, so either choice would go fine.

Personally I'd go with the "better" 2.0Ghz model for *now* and hold off on the memory upgrades. If you have not noticed the memory shortages have resulted in all time high memory prices, the prices that you pay now are really around 40-50% higher than what they used to be weeks ago :eek:

Get the 2.0Ghz model, the difference in price nets you a better CPU, a larger hard drive, and a DVD burner, it is pretty worth it... especially the DVD burner. Can't imagine what good is a CD-only burner these days :rolleyes:
 

Kardashian

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generik said:
Yes, I used to run CS2 on my Mini with a pokey 1.66Ghz processor, so either choice would go fine.
But I'd be stuck on 512 RAM for a month or so, wouldn't that mean that CS2 would run terribly slow under Rosetta?

generik said:
Personally I'd go with the "better" 2.0Ghz model for *now* and hold off on the memory upgrades. If you have not noticed the memory shortages have resulted in all time high memory prices, the prices that you pay now are really around 40-50% higher than what they used to be weeks ago :eek:
Really? :eek: I've heard nothing of this! Sometimes I think I live in my own little bubble!


generik said:
Can't imagine what good is a CD-only burner these days :rolleyes:
Hmm.. well, I don't have the need to make DVDs or large photo slideshows etc - so it really wouldn't come into any use with me. I burn the occassional CD, even that isn't a regular thing. :confused:
 

eXan

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Jan 10, 2005
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Definately get the #1 option (1.83, 1GB), other wise you'll have to wait a month for Photoshop to do any action:eek:
 

Kardashian

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Thanks, eXan.

It will have the stock 512MB (2x256MB), and I will swap one for a 1GB stick - making it 1.25GB's in total, until I get the other 1GB stick.

Hope it runs ok, doesn't stain, have a whine, or set on fire. :p ;)
 

Jiddick ExRex

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May 14, 2006
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generik said:
Yes, I used to run CS2 on my Mini with a pokey 1.66Ghz processor, so either choice would go fine.

Personally I'd go with the "better" 2.0Ghz model for *now* and hold off on the memory upgrades. If you have not noticed the memory shortages have resulted in all time high memory prices, the prices that you pay now are really around 40-50% higher than what they used to be weeks ago :eek:

Get the 2.0Ghz model, the difference in price nets you a better CPU, a larger hard drive, and a DVD burner, it is pretty worth it... especially the DVD burner. Can't imagine what good is a CD-only burner these days :rolleyes:
That's horrible advice. The CPU speed is measurable, not noticable, the larger hard drive is much cheaper upgrading (with a 7200 rpm eventually) not to mention easier upgrading, and the burner option is only important if you actually burn stuff occasionally.
 

miles01110

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Jul 24, 2006
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Jiddick ExRex said:
That's horrible advice. The CPU speed is measurable, not noticable, the larger hard drive is much cheaper upgrading (with a 7200 rpm eventually) not to mention easier upgrading, and the burner option is only important if you actually burn stuff occasionally.

It's not terrible advice. A DVD burner will mean that the unit will have much higher resale value if he decides to sell it. DVD burners are becoming the new standard drive anyways.
 

Jimmieboy

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Oct 30, 2005
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I'd go for the high end macbook if I needed the DVD burner. Since I have an external burner I'd go for the low end on and just up the harddrive and ram.
 

Kardashian

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Resale value doesn't bother me.

I'm buying the computer to use, not sell.

I need to use Photoshop straight away, so I think I'm going for Opt.1
 

hagjohn

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Aug 27, 2006
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josh.thomas said:
Hmm.. well, I don't have the need to make DVDs or large photo slideshows etc - so it really wouldn't come into any use with me. I burn the occassional CD, even that isn't a regular thing. :confused:
No but you will need to backup all your important files for school. It's easier to back things up on 1 disk than trying to find multiple disks.
 

Kardashian

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hagjohn said:
No but you will need to backup all your important files for school. It's easier to back things up on 1 disk than trying to find multiple disks.
CDs, Pen Drives, iPod, e-mail server, School server.. many ways I can back up ;)

PS: If I can't run CS2 (which I won't be able to on the high-end as I won't be able to afford RAM) - I won't have any files to back up :p
 

nathanj.massey

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Sep 16, 2006
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Hey Josh, i've ordered a MacBook too and i'm also doing my final year of A-Levels. Bought mine today actually with the HE Discount, just wondering how you managed to claim VAT back?

Thanks, Nathan.
 

Kardashian

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nathanj.massey said:
Hey Josh, i've ordered a MacBook too and i'm also doing my final year of A-Levels. Bought mine today actually with the HE Discount, just wondering how you managed to claim VAT back?

Thanks, Nathan.
We're VAT registered.

How did you qualify for HE if your doing A-Levels? ;)
 

harisdmac

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Aug 16, 2006
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why dont you consider the option of buying refurbished one or a refreshe one from the applestore...it will save you at least 10%
 

Kardashian

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harisdmac said:
why dont you consider the option of buying refurbished one or a refreshe one from the applestore...it will save you at least 10%
There isn't one single Mac Refurb on the Apple Store in the UK.

There's almost always an iPod of some sort, and PowerBooks/iMacs/MacBook Pro's - but I've only ever seen MacBook Refurbs once - and they went quick and haven't been back since.

For some reason, there's nothing but iPods this week..
 

FFTT

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Apr 17, 2004
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Josh, I would go for the 2.0 GHz model and live with it until you can afford to upgrade to 2 GB RAM.

If funds are very tight, I strongly recommend buying direct from Apple's refurb store.

Not only will you be getting a better machine for less with a full factory warranty, but you may also end up with a few free extras, like a larger HD or extra free ram.
 

Kardashian

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FFTT said:
Josh, I would go for the 2.0 GHz model and live with it until you can afford to upgrade to 2 GB RAM.

If funds are very tight, I strongly recommend buying direct from Apple's refurb store.

Not only will you be getting a better machine for less with a full factory warranty, but you may also end up with a few free extras, like a larger HD or extra free ram.
I would have no problem with a Refurb model at all. But like I said, I check the store weekly, 2 or 3 times, and I've only seen MacBooks on there once.

Its that .17Ghz really noticeable? Is it worth missing out on a case, BT MM and an extra 1GB of RAM? The DVD Burner means nothing to me, its useless (I would never ever use it)
 

FFTT

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Remember that you still have to buy the iPod up front and then submit the rebate
certificate on time.

I had a talk with my daughter about this before we ordered her Macbook and she decided that given our budget, the quality of the computer was a greater priority.

She would also rather have a printer and worry about getting an new model iPod later.

The base model is O.K. for your immediate needs, but Apple will soon phase out
that processor.
 

Kardashian

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FFTT said:
Remember that you still have to buy the iPod up front and then submit the rebate certificate on time.
I think you've really gotten lost about the aims of my thread.

1. I bought an iPod 2 weeks ago, I don't need or want another one.
2. I don't intend to use the iPod Student offer, never have, sorry if you thought otherwise.
3. I just wanted to know, given my budget, and that I need the computer to be functional immediatley, especially Photoshop and InDesign, which was my best option, which I think is the 1.83Ghz, 1.25GB RAM, BT MM, and Case, instead of just a stock 2.0Ghz.

Sorry if I've confused you and wasted your time in all your posting. :)
 

FFTT

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Apr 17, 2004
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Eeeeees Okay!

The most important thing is to be happy with your purchase.

My other daughter is fine running Photoshop on her 1.33 GHz iBook, so
the base MacBook should cover you.

Rosetta really is a RAM hog, so consider upgrading to a total of 2 GB
RAM as soon as it's convenient.

Keep your factory DIMMS just in case you need to send your machine to the shop
some day in the future.
 

fivetoadsloth

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Aug 15, 2006
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i see you are planning on getting the 1.83 ghz, but id say get the 2 i ran with a two and 512 ram and photoshop ran ok, about the same spped as it did on a 1.42 ghz g4, i thn upgraded to 1 gig and it is noticably faster,and once cs3 comes out you will diefinatly notice the .17 remember cs3 will have better support for the dual cores so its actually .34.
 

Kardashian

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FFTT said:
Rosetta really is a RAM hog, so consider upgrading to a total of 2 GB
RAM as soon as it's convenient.

Keep your factory DIMMS just in case you need to send your machine to the shop
some day in the future.
Yeah. :)

I was gonna take out one 256 and pop in a 1GB, and then replace the other 256 in about 4/5 weeks for another 1GB. So I'll have 1.25GB within 24 hours of the MacBook being delivered. :)

Thanks everyone.
 

Kardashian

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fivetoadsloth said:
i see you are planning on getting the 1.83 ghz, but id say get the 2 i ran with a two and 512 ram and photoshop ran ok, about the same spped as it did on a 1.42 ghz g4, i thn upgraded to 1 gig and it is noticably faster,and once cs3 comes out you will diefinatly notice the .17 remember cs3 will have better support for the dual cores so its actually .34.
The .17Ghz isn't really that noticeable I've found.

Rosetta uses a lot of RAM, and Macs love RAM anyway - 512 wouldn't be enough to run Photoshop and do 50+MB files if it was running nativley (ie: on a PowerPC Mac).

The fact Photoshop loves RAM, the Mac does, and Rosetta does, means 512 wouldn't be enough.

A 1.83Ghz with 2GB of RAM will run fine. Remember, I'm going from a G5 to an Intel, not a G4 - which is slower, in comparison.

Also, just because CS3 will be Intel compatible doesn't mean my computer will gain .34Ghz. It would still be a 1.83Ghz/2Ghz machine - its just CS3 would be running nativley, and would be smoother, and less of a RAM hog as it wouldn't be using Rosetta (so it would run faster) but the computers speed itself does not alter.